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Lebanon: Importers warn medication and baby formula will run out within weeks

June 19, 2021 at 11:24 am

Protesters march towards Energy Ministry building during a protest against record depreciation of the local currency and the current economic crisis in Beirut, Lebanon on March 19, 2021 [Mahmut Geldi / Anadolu Agency]

Lebanon’s Medical Equipment & Devices Importers Syndicate warned on Friday that stocks of medication for chronic diseases and infant formula will run out within weeks.

This came in a statement issued by Head of the syndicate Karim Jbara during a press conference in the capital, Beirut.

Jbara stated: “The stock of medications, medicines for incurable diseases and baby formula will run out after a few weeks. We will not be able to overcome this critical situation unless imports are allowed.”

He added: “Import is suspended because we need prior approval from the Health Ministry and the Banque du Liban. Most companies will not send medicines unless we pay off the accumulated debts.”

Jabara continued: “We tried to secure external funding to import medicines, but the answer was that we need to expedite the formation of a government and develop a rescue plan to save Lebanon.”

On Thursday, the Central Bank of Lebanon issued a statement calling on the government to approve a plan to rationalise subsidies to protect the neediest groups and put an end to exploitation and evasion.

Lebanon has been facing continuous complications regarding the government formation file for nearly eight months, since Saad Hariri was commissioned to form it in October 2020.

For a year and a half, Lebanon has witnessed a severe economic crisis that resulted in the deterioration of the country’s financial balance and the shortage of basic commodities and goods such as fuel and medicine, in addition to an unprecedented surge of poverty and inflation rates.